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Warriors coach Steve Kerr urges action on gun bill HR 8: What is it?

Gun buyers are able to take advantage of a loophole that allows them not to get a background check in certain sales, according to the Brady Campaign.

WASHINGTON — Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made an impassioned plea to lawmakers — not about basketball but something more important, he said — following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Take a vote on H.R. 8, the "Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021."

"When are we gonna do something," shouted Kerr just before Tuesday night's playoff game between the Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.

"I'm tired. I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devasted families that are out there. I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough. There's 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R. 8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple of years ago.

"It's been sitting there for two years. And there's a reason they won't vote on it, to hold onto power. I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refused to do anything about the violence, school shootings, supermarket shootings, I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that's what it looks like."

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Despite passing the House by a 227-203 vote in March 2021, with most Republicans voting against it, the bill stalled in the Senate until its members read it on May 24, 2022 — the day of the mass shooting in Texas that left at least 19 children and two teachers dead.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, H.R. 8 makes it illegal to sell or transfer a firearm in any transaction without a background check. It's a universal background check bill that expands the requirement of background checks for unlicensed gun sellers, with some exceptions.

Gun shows, private transactions and internet sales are some of the loopholes buyers are able to take advantage of, the group said.

"Over the last decade, 1 in 3 mass shooters were legally prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the shooting," the Brady Campaign wrote. "This means that they either had a felony conviction, had been adjudicated mentally ill by a court of law, or had a domestic violence restraining order, among other reasons. But the existing loopholes in the current system, that are mentioned above, allow these prohibited purchasers to gain access to firearms."

Several polls show, including this March 2021 Morning Consult/Politico survey, that the overwhelming majority of voters support requiring all gun purchasers to go through a background check. 

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